Tag Archives: Megan @ WPL

Hygge Do You do?

The other day I was talking to a friend who was overjoyed at the prospect of a cold, gloomy Sunday. Turns out that when your idea of a good time is sitting down with a stack of books, it doesn’t matter if it’s a “nice” day – it’s all good.

Are you familiar with the term hygge? (It’s pronounced hoo-ga, in case you’ve been saying it wrong all this time like I have). It became all the rage a couple years ago, although your Scandinavian friends will likely tell you they’ve known all about it for much longer than that. The word itself refers to the mood of coziness, happiness, and contentment that abounds when you’re settled into a plush armchair under a soft blanket with a cup of tea or hot chocolate while the candlelight flickers and wind howls outside.

If you’re thinking “yes, please!,” then look no further. Winnipeg Public Library has plenty of wonderful hygge-related books to get you through the season of snow with a smile!

How to Hygge by Signe Johansen

Let’s start with the basics! How to Hygge by chef and author Signe Johansen is a fresh, informative, lighthearted, fully illustrated how-to guide to hygge. It’s a combination of recipes, helpful tips for cozy living at home, and cabin porn: essential elements of living the Danish way—which, incidentally, encourages a daily dose of “healthy hedonism.” Who can resist that?

Making Winter : A Hygge-Inspired Guide to Surviving the Winter Months by Emma Mitchell

Embrace this warm-hearted philosophy with 25 creative crafts and recipes, from gorgeous trinkets to snuggly woolens and tasty treats. Make vintage ornaments, bake plum and orange blondies, crochet boot cuffs, and more–you’ll feel hygge warming you no matter how cold it is outside.

Scandinavian Comfort Food : Embracing the Art of Hygge 
by Trine Hahnemann

Trine Hahnemann is the doyenne of Scandinavian cooking, and loves nothing more than spending time in her kitchen cooking up comforting food in good company. This is her collection of recipes that will warm you up and teach you to embrace the art of hygge, no matter where you live.

The Joy of Hygge : How to Bring Everyday Pleasure and Danish Coziness into Your Life by Jonny Jackson

The Joy of Hygge is packed with recipes to warm you on a winter’s evening, craft ideas for decorating your home, and inspirational suggestions for enjoying the magic of everyday pleasures.

Live Lagom : Balanced Living, the Swedish Way by Anna Brones

Following the cultural phenomena of fika and hygge, the allure of Scandinavian culture and tradition continues in the Swedish concept of lagom. Instead of thinking about how we can work less, lagom teaches us to think about how we can work better. Lagom is about finding balance between aesthetics and function, a holistic approach for the body and mind, including connecting more in person, caring for self, managing stress, keeping active, and embracing enjoyment in daily routine. Live Lagom inspires us to slow down and find happiness in everyday balance.

And there you have it, just a few ideas to ride out the winter in comfort and style! What will you do to make the most of our Manitoba winter?

Happy reading,


Fall Forest Frolics

Ah, fall, that wonderful time of year when you can wear your sweaters and cozy socks without having to add a huge coat and boots! I love the excuse to drink copious amounts of hot chocolate and look forward to pumpkin pie and homemade applesauce. Even the commute is more enjoyable, with the trees doing their best fireworks impression.

However, despite the wonderful coziness that sets in as the days get shorter and cooler, or maybe because of it, I can never quite shake the sense of melancholy that comes along with the changing colours. Fall is such a short season here, and the long winter is right around the corner…

This is usually enough to set me to searching out slightly darker fare for my bedtime reading, and this year in particular I’ve been feeling very arboreally-focused in my selections, as you can see by my current to-read list, which I’ve shared below:

Big Lonely Doug by Harley Rustad

Originally featured as a long-form article in The Walrus that garnered a National Magazine Award (Silver), Big Lonely Doug weaves the ecology of old-growth forests, the legend of the West Coast’s big trees, and the turbulence of the logging industry.  It delves into the fight for preservation, the contention surrounding ecotourism, First Nations land and resource rights, and the fraught future of these ancient forests around the story of a logger who saved one of Canada’s last great trees.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales dies alone on her estate the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get.


Into the Forest by Jean Hegland

Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event precedes society’s fall. There is talk of a war overseas and upheaval in Congress, but it still comes as a shock when the electricity runs out and gas is nowhere to be found. The sisters consume the resources left in the house, waiting for the power to return. Their arrival into adulthood, however, forces them to reexamine their place in the world and their relationship to the land and each other.

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even in winter, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store food and water to avoid freezing to death

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the Canadian wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents’ divorce.

The Hill by Karen Bass

Jared’s plane has crashed in the Alberta wilderness, and Kyle is first on the scene. When Jared insists on hiking up the highest hill in search of cell phone reception, Kyle hesitates; his Cree grandmother has always forbidden him to go near it. There’s no stopping Jared, though, so Kyle reluctantly follows. After a night spent on the hilltop — with no cell service — the teens discover something odd: the plane has disappeared. Nothing in the forest surrounding them seems right. In fact, things seem very wrong. And worst of all, something is hunting them.

If you’re looking for a fun, in-real-life way to welcome in this spooky yet beautiful time of year, check out the Twilight Trek: A Walking Storytime in Bruce Park happening on October 23 (weather permitting!). Feel free to dress up in costume as we wander through the park sharing spooky stories in this beautiful natural setting!

What books are you reaching for this time of year? As the weather drives us inside, are you reaching for cozy, heartwarming stories, or are you eyeing up the woods next door with a shiver running up and down your spine like me? Let me know below! I’d love to hear what’s on your to-read list!

Happy reading,






Walk this Way

Before the last of the snow and ice melted from our sidewalks, my brother was in town for a short visit. We went out for dinner, then back to my apartment. I took off my shoes and plopped down on the couch, expecting him to do that same, but instead of sitting, he began to walk laps around my apartment. Turns out, he’s been trying to walk that magical 10,000 steps every day, and he hadn’t been able to hit his step count for the day yet.

This got me thinking about why we walk. Walking is a long-venerated tradition, especially amongst those with a creative bent. William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, Beethoven, Steve Jobs, many of Jane Austen’s characters… it seems as though walking not only gets the heart pumping, but also the creative juices flowing!

Some people walk for their health (physical and mental!), and others love walking as a cost-effective and eco-friendly form of locomotion. Whatever your reason for walking might be (destroying the One Ring, maybe?) Winnipeg Public Library has many books to get you moving and inspire your own epic journey this summer!

walking Walking by Henry David Thoreau

A meandering ode to the simple act and accomplished art of taking a walk. Profound and humorous, companionable and curmudgeonly, Walking, by America’s first nature writer, is your personal and portable guide to the activity that, like no other, awakens the senses and the soul to the “absolute freedom and wildness” of nature.


Walking: A Complete Guide to Walking for Fitness, Health and Weight Loss by John Stanton

As the founder and president of Walking/Running Room, North America’s largest chain of special stores for walkers and runners, John Stanton has inspired people across the nation to develop healthier lifestyles one step at a time. In this book, you’ll learn how to set realistic goals, design your own training program, find the level of walking that’s right for you, choose the best shoes and walking wear for your needs, prevent and treat common injuries, and enhance your walking with optimum nutrition!

philosophy A Philosophy of Walking by Frédéric Gros

Frédéric Gros charts the many different ways we get from A to B — the pilgrimage, the promenade, the protest march, the nature ramble — and reveals what they say about us. Gros draws attention to other thinkers who also saw walking as something central to their practice. On his travels he ponders Thoreau’s eager seclusion in Walden Woods; the reason Rimbaud walked in a fury, while Nerval rambled to cure his melancholy. He shows us how Rousseau walked in order to think, while Nietzsche wandered the mountainside to write. In contrast, Kant marched through his hometown every day, exactly at the same hour, to escape the compulsion of thought. Brilliant and erudite, A Philosophy of Walking is an entertaining and insightful manifesto for putting one foot in front of the other.

howtowalk How to Walk by Thich Nhat Hanh

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh introduces beginners and reminds seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice. Slow, concentrated walking while focusing on in- and out-breaths allows for a unique opportunity to be in the present. There is no need to arrive somewhere—each step is the arrival to concentration, joy, insight, and the momentary enlightenment of aliveness. When your foot touches the Earth with awareness, you make yourself alive and the Earth real, and you forget for one minute the searching, rushing, and longing that rob our daily lives of awareness and cause us to “sleepwalk” through life.

The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times: A Memoir by Peter Kavanagh

Throughout his life, as he developed a very successful career in public broadcasting, built a family, and indulged in his love of music and travel, Kavanagh underwent various surgeries and rehabilitation to give him “normal” mobility after being diagnosed with paralytic polio as an infant. The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times is a moving memoir of a full life, and of learning the same lesson over and over.

And here’s a walking pro-tip from one walker to another: downloaded audiobooks from Overdrive are a fabulous way to get through your summer reads list while getting that step count up! Grab your headphones, slip on the sneakers, and enjoy that sunshine! Just don’t forget the sunscreen.

Happy reading,


A Collection of Love-ly Books

Well, here we are, mid-February already! I know it’s been cold and windy, but every day we are just a bit closer to spring. Spring means sunshine, flowers, and the start of wedding season! Cue the bells!

Holidays like Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day are all big moments for wedding proposals, so there is a good chance that you might be receiving a save the date sometime in the near future (or maybe you’re the one sending them out… in which case, congrats!)

Now, the library loves love (have you seen our romance collection?), so don’t you worry, we have your back when it comes to all things weddings! Here are just a few of our newer titles to get you started:

knot  The Knot Yours Truly: Inspiration and Ideas to Personalize Your Wedding by Carley Roney

A great choice for those who want every detail and aspect of the wedding to be just as special and unique as the couple tying the knot! You’ll find lots of inspiration in these pages.



stonefox Stone fox bride : love, lust, and wedding planning for the wild at heart by Molly Guy

If you’re a fan of non-traditional, uber-personalized weddings, this book is a great place to look for advice and reassurance when the planning gets to be too much!  Less focused on how to actually plan a wedding, the author shares some personal stories and rounds it out with some beautiful images that are sure to get your imagination and creativity flowing.


Equally wed : the ultimate guide to planning your LGBTQ+ wedding by Kristen Ott equallyPaladino

Looking for some help with the step-by-steps of wedding planning? Palladino has you covered, walking you through the latest wedding trends and providing some sample budgets (US prices) to help you get a sense of how much your dream wedding could cost!



The wedding book : an expert’s guide to planning your perfect day–your way by Mindy weddingWeiss

Weiss walks you through just about everything in this multi-tasking title, from announcing the engagement–including whom to tell first and what to do when someone isn’t happy about the news–to getting to the altar, from planning a honeymoon to preserving the bouquet when you return. It includes lists, schedules, budgeting tools, and timelines.


newlywed The newlywed cookbook : cooking happily ever after by Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore

Who amongst us doesn’t like the sound of no-fail recipes? This book aims to help you get the most out of those wedding registry appliances, and comes filled with lovely pictures and tasty recipes, just for two. It also includes a helpful “Kitchen and Pantry Basics” section towards the back, so it’s easy to make sure your kitchen is well-stocked and ready to go.


marthastewart Martha Stewart’s newlywed kitchen : recipes for weeknight dinners & easy, casual gatherings

Looking for more cooking inspo? You can’t go wrong with a little help from Martha Stewart herself. She’s got you covered from quick dinners to brunches to parties of all kinds!


So there you are, just a few places to get your walk down the aisle started! Of course, this just barely scratches the surface of what we have available, so make sure to come in and have a look or scan through our online catalogue!

Wishing you a happily ever after,


Summer Spooktacle

Summer is a time of sunshine, sand, ice cream, and s’mores around the campfire. There is nothing quite like sitting around a toasty fire while staring up at the stars, listening to the rustling of the wind in the trees while someone tells a scary story.

If you want to keep the spooky times rolling even after your summer vacation is over (if you ask me, it’s never too early to start getting ready for Halloween!), check out items in the list below, guaranteed to bring that campfire feeling into your home! Maybe leave the fire outside, though.

 The Curse of the Wendigo by Nick Yancey

In book 2 of the Monstrumologist series, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiancée to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied?

If you’ve never encountered the Wendigo in your reading, it’s well worth checking this one out. It’s one of the creepiest folkloric creatures I’ve run into in my reading adventures!

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Speaking as someone who recently missed a turn and then found herself driving on a deserted highway surrounded by marsh, and then on a lonely dirt road through endless cornfields, all under a partially cloud-covered full moon, it’s no stretch of the imagination to think that you might see a ghostly figure along the side of the road.

Haunted highways are a classic amongst urban legends. You might recognize some of these popular titles: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown.

In fact, in Sparrow Hill Road, she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom.

If you’re feeling brave, feel free to bring this along as your next road trip read!

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant

Killer mermaids and ghost ships, anyone?

When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses. They didn’t expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn’t expect those mermaids to have teeth.

As a novella, this book is a nice, quick read, perfect for the beach!

And if you enjoy this one, keep an eye out for the next book in the series, Into the Drowning Deep.

Gravity Falls by Alex Hirsch

Twelve year-old twins Dipper and Mabel Pines are off to spend the summer with their gruff Great Uncle (‘Grunkle’) Stan who runs the tacky tourist trap, ‘Mystery Shack.’ The kids uncover mysterious surprises, unsurpassed silliness, and supernatural shenanigans lurking around every corner of the deceptively sleepy little town.

This is a fun series for younger fans of things that go bump in the night, and you just can’t go wrong with shenanigans!


This television series got its start in the folklore and myths that created all of the really great campfire tales. The main characters, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, seek out and fight supernatural forces in an attempt to find their mysteriously missing father and the person or force responsible for their mother’s death. In the process, you’ll meet recognizable characters, some of whom have already appeared on this list, such as the Phantom Traveler and the Wendigo.

These are just a few of the spooky stories we have at the library, so don’t worry horror fans, you won’t run out!

Maybe you’ve got some other favourite tales that you like to share with friends. If so, leave a comment below, I’d love to know what they are!

Happy reading,


Long summer days, hot summer nights

There’s a reason summer is constantly immortalized in books, songs, movies and memories. With the sun shining through the branches of trees swaying in the wind while happy little clouds a la Bob Ross float on by overhead, every magical moment seems full of possibility. Being able to walk out the door without being weighed down by winter woolens doesn’t hurt either. However, summer is a limited time offer, so here are some ideas to help you make the most of it!

Get Outside and Explore

It isn’t always easy to get in touch with your wild side, but if you’re thinking about getting lost while finding yourself in the great outdoors, check out the titles below for places to go, things to do, and tasty treats to keep you fueled up for the adventures ahead.


The down and dirty guide to camping with kids : how to plan memorable family adventures & connect kids to nature

Manitoba wild : scenic secrets of Manitoba

Camping activity book for families : the kid-tested guide to fun in the outdoors

Handy dad in the great outdoors : more than 30 super-cool projects and activities for dads and kids

The new trailside cookbook : 100 delicious recipes for the camp chef

The great outdoors cookbook : adventures in cooking under the open sky

Don’t you worry if the forecast is looking a little gloomy. We’ve got you covered on rainy days as well! Stay inside and get cozy watching one of our streaming movies or TV shows on hoopla, or catch up on your TBR (To Be Read) pile (check out our newest titles here). Rainy days are also a great time to try a DIY!


Sticky fingers : DIY duct tape projects

The quick & easy home DIY manual

I spy DIY style : find fashion you love and do it yourself

Mason jar crafts : DIY projects for adorable and rustic decor, clever storage, inventive lighting and much, much more

High-tech DIY projects with 3D printing tree

Tree craft : 35 rustic wood projects that bring the outdoors in


Whatever you decide to do with your summer, have fun and stay safe! Remember your sunscreen and your water bottle, and when you’re really feeling the heat, don’t forget that you can come to any of Winnipeg Public Library’s twenty branches to cool off in our air conditioned buildings and find a few inspirational books of your own!


Happy “I Love to Read” Month, Winnipeg!

What better time of year to celebrate the joy of reading? There’s nothing like coming in from the snow and cuddling up on the couch with a blanket and a good book while sensation returns to your fingers, toes, and nose! And, since you can begin building literacy skills right from birth, reading is a fabulous family activity!

There are many simple things you can do every day to encourage reading and literacy in your family, and the five early literacy practices listed below are a great way to encourage a life-long love of learning and literacy in young children:

Talk: Talking to children helps them learn about language and teaches them new words.

Sing: Along with being a fun way to bond, singing helps children hear syllables and words,   and also develops memory and listening skills.

Play: Imaginative play is a great way for kids to learn how the world works!

Write: Your child’s scribbles and drawings have meaning to them, and are the first step in your child to recognizing that letters and words have meaning.

Read: Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to enjoy reading on your own, so grab a couple of your favourites, and let your child pick a few books that catch their eye as well!

Regular trips to the library are another great way to help your child associate books and reading with fun! Our free Pre-School Programs are a wonderful way for you to bond with your child, and provide an excellent opportunity for them to socialize with their peers. The next upcoming registration date is Friday, March 11. For more information about these programs, please pick up a copy of the library newsletter, At The Library, available at all branches.

Of course, you can find many excellent books to read while you’re at the library. Not sure what kind of books you should be looking for? You can find tips for choosing picture books here, and staff at any of Winnipeg Public Library’s twenty branches would be happy to help you find some titles of interest! It’s also an excellent idea to let your children pick out some books that catch their eye. Don’t worry if they want to read the same book over and over again. The repetition will help them learn to associate the words you say with the letters written on the page, and you might be surprised at how quickly they are able to quote the story at you (those young minds are amazing things)!

We also have Pinterest boards, which we are continuously updating with new staff picks. Check out our boards for kids and parents and our boards for teens for book suggestions!

Winnipeg Public Library will also be launching a brand new children’s card and an “I Love my Library” booklist at our Take Your Child to the Library Day on Saturday, February 6, to help you get “I Love to Read” month started off with a bang! This will be a day of fun family performances and activities at all of our branches, so make sure to check out our newsletter for details, or head into your nearest branch to see what they have planned!


Take Your Child to the Library Day – February 6

February is ‘I Love to Read’ Month, and Winnipeg Public Library is ready to help you celebrate!

Early experiences with books and language lay the foundation for success in learning to read. There are lots of fun and easy ways you can help build reading readiness, such as talking, singing, reading, writing and playing with your child. All of these activities help to develop language and literacy skills, and positive interactions with reading and books can ensure that your child sees reading as a fun and enjoyable activity. Winnipeg Public Library has the perfect event to help you encourage your family’s love of literacy!

On Saturday, February 6, all of our twenty branches will be hosting Take Your Child to the Library Day! Join us for scheduled family music concerts with the Winnipeg Folk Festival and puppet shows presented by Castlemoon Theatre,  or stop by any time on the day to grab one of our new children’s library cards, make a library card holder and bookmark, and show off your new library card with fun props in our photo booth! Admission to concerts and puppet shows will be by free tickets distributed starting 30 minutes before show time. For details and a full listing of events, check out page 21 of At The Library, available in all branches, or ask staff at your nearest branch.


Children are never too young to have their own library card, which provides a world of discovery and learning.  Join Winnipeg Public Library for Take Your Child to the Library Day on Saturday, February 6, to celebrate the joy of literacy and foster a love of reading in your family!

Makerspace Programs!

Earlier this week, Louis-Philippe wrote about the development of a physical makerspace at Winnipeg Public Library and showcased some of the maker titles in our collection. But did you know that Winnipeg Public Library has been offering makerspace programs since 2013?


Our current roster of makerspace programs includes programs for school-aged children, tweens, teens, and adults. Makerspace programs are intended to provide opportunities for people of all ages to create, experiment and collaborate in a fun, self-directed, hands-on learning environment.

You can find makerspace programs being run at any of the twenty branches in the city. Here are just a few of the upcoming (and did I mention, free?) programs:

Arduino is a small controller or circuit that can be programmed to complete a variety of tasks. Adults can choose from an introductory, intermediate, an advanced Arduino program, so there’s plenty of opportunity to develop your programming skills!

Hidden Poetry involves blacking out most of the words on a page of a book, magazine or newspaper so that the remaining words become a poem. This program runs for Teens (gr. 7-12) and Adults, and is a great way to open your eyes to the poetry of life that’s all around us!


Cubelets Robotics are a great introduction to modular robotics. Magnetic robot blocks that snap together, you can use Cubelets build a robot (that’s right, a robot!) that responds to light, sound, temperature and movement.  This is one of our most popular Tween (ages 9-12) programs.

Paper Circuits: Light Up Cards allows Teens to create their own light-up greeting card using simple circuits, a battery, LEDs and conductive tape!

Our interactive Scratch Programming workshop introduces participants to the basics of the programming language Scratch. This day-long program is spent creating and collaborating on projects such as designing a video game or animated story.


At Making with Minecraft: Papercraft, Tween Minecraft fans work in teams to create a Minecraft world using snap cubes, then populate it with critters friendly and scary. Test your Minecraft knowledge with some trivia, and maybe learn a new crafting recipe or two.


Making with Magformers is another great program for the school-aged group! Using some of the world’s strongest magnets, Magformers snap together to create 3D creatures, cars, robots, rockets, or just about anything else you imagine!

Now, these are just some of the great makerspace programs that can be found at Winnipeg Public Library, and we’re always adding new programs to the lineup! The important thing to remember about makerspace programs is that it is all about learning. There’s no such thing as failure, just “success training”! No need to be an expert, just come and see what you can do. You might just be surprised!

Public Makerfaire – November 7, 1-4 pm at Millennium Library

If you’re curious to see some makerspace action in person, join us at our public makerfaire on Saturday, November 7th from 1-4 pm at Millennium Library. We’ll have stations set up throughout the library, and the public will have an opportunity to get some hands-on experience with some of our newest and most exciting program kits, such as Squishy Circuits (conductive dough creations), Makey Makey (turn anything, even fruit, into game controllers), and Little Bits (an intro to circuitry using snap-together pieces).

The best way to find out what programs are running at the branch nearest you is to check out our events calendar, peruse the latest edition of At The Library (hard copies available in-branch), or talk to staff at your local branch!


Old Book, New Trick

Last week on Readers’ Salon, Lori wrote about the enduring appeal of classic stories. As much as I love the classics in their original form, I am struck by the many ways in which they have been reimagined. In that sense, they are the superhero movies of their format, constantly being re-examined, re-imagined, updated and given improved gadgets or better capes. This allows audiences new and old to explore a new facet of a well-known story.



For example, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland has undergone numerous updates and transformations, including Splintered, the YA series by A.G. Howard with a punk skater heroine, and the manga Alice in the Country of Hearts, which is based off of a computer game. The subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) tweaks to the characters, setting, and even genre of the story offer just enough spice to entice reluctant readers and pique their interest in this classic tale. Similarly, Gris Grimly’s interpretation of Mary Shelley’s classic horror novel Frankenstein involves taking bits of pared-down original text and completing it with Gothically-styled, rock-inspired illustrations. Even the works of Shakespeare have been subject to continual re-imaginings, such as William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.


FablesFairy Tale Feasts

Fairy tales are another excellent example of the timeless nature of some stories. Fractured or updated fairy tales can take many forms, such as Marissa Meyer’s teen series, The Lunar Chronicles, or Bill Willingham’s adult graphic novel series Fables, in which your standard fairy tale characters end up exiles in modern New York City. However, changing the location of the story isn’t the only way to change how you interact with a classic tale. Jane Yolen’s Fairy Tale Feasts cookbook series for young readers offers an excellent opportunity for fairy tale fanatics to experience their favourite tales in a tactile manner, and demonstrates how a good story spills off of the page and into our day-to-day lives.



Mythologies also tend to be perennial favourites, as evidenced by the popularity of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series (Greek), The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris (Norse), and the Thunder Road trilogy by Chadwick Ginther, which features a cast of characters from Norse mythology and just happens to be set right here in Manitoba (it just so happens that book three, Too Far Gone, is set for release in September).

Do you have a favourite re-imagining of a classic book or story? Or is there a story that you think deserves to be redone? I’d love to hear about it!